Sir John Soanes' House

Occasional visitors to my humble home are apt to remark on some of the interesting trinkets which sit upon the shelves and the old maps and pictures set about the walls. My modest abode is nothing compared to that of Sir John Soane, whose house at Holborn I visited yesterday. Sir John was an architect and collector who died in 1837. His house is preserved as a museum with his immense and eclectic collection of sculptures, paintings, masonry and monuments hanging from every available wall. It is one of the most interesting and bizarre spaces I have ever entered, and makes my home resemble that of a Japanese minimalist with an excessive penchant for Zen Buddhism.


Although the museum’s external appearance seems little out of the ordinary, the internals are extraordinary.


Sadly, the museum was established because of Sir John’s dislike of his son George whom he wished to disinherit. He therefore campaigned for a private Act of Parliament, to which end he succeeded in 1833, whereby his houses and artefacts would become the property of a museum trust rather than the inheritance of a profligate and apparently underserving son. This discord between Soanes senior and junior much benefited the nation, and all may now come and enjoy this free museum with its heterogenous assemblage of ornaments and ephemerae.


The Christian gospel teaches that there was perfect unity between the Father and the Son in both substance and purpose, that the Son would redeem a people for the Father’s glory. Though the Father rejected the Son briefly as He hung upon the Cross during His time as sin-bearer, the goal of redemption was duly accomplished. The undeserving sons and daughters of Adam now share in all God’s riches through Christ Jesus. Our heavenly accommodation will be even more interesting and wonderful that that found at Holborn; Christ died that riches and honours might be shared, not withheld. Whosoever will, may come. 

That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7, NKJV